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Blue LED Light Wins 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics—Helps QC Labs Garner Rapid, Non-Destructive Results

Written by Rapid Micro Biosystems | Oct 29, 2014 12:00:00 PM

On October 7, the Royal Swedish Academy of Science awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.” Because of the invention of the blue LED, white light can be used in a far more long-lasting and energy-efficient way compared to older light sources.

While red and green diodes have long been viable, the prize-winning trio's first production of blue light beams in the early 1990s was revolutionary and paved the way for white LEDs. The incandescent light bulb was the primary light source throughout the 20th century, but the LED provides a low power, longer lasting alternative.

For long-time readers of this blog, you know the blue LED is at the core of the technology that drives the Growth DirectTMSystem. Illumination of a sample via a blue light causes colonies to fluoresce without destroying the colony.  This technology, used in a time series, allows the Growth DirectTM System to “see” growing colonies far earlier than the human eye, typically delivering comparable results in about half the time of the traditional test. The blue light, specifically the blue LED, in combination with the rest of the Growth DirectTM System’s technology, makes possible the ability to provide rapid, non-destructive, automated testing to determine microbial growth in bioburden testing, environmental monitoring and sterility testing.

The blue light-emitting diode is revolutionary because it enables white-light and thusled low power light bulbs, “…increasing quality of life for over 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity grids: due to low power requirements it can be powered by cheap local solar power.” For the Growth DirectTM System, the blue light is a key component to non-destructive detection and enumeration. We congratulate Drs. Akasaki, Amano, and Nakamura. 

Discover how the blue light used by the Growth DirectTM System can make your QC lab more efficient—check out this free guide.